The causes of work-related deaths in Chicago and across the state

Residents of Chicago may be familiar with television shows like “Chicago Fire” and “Chicago Code.” These shows are about firefighters and police officers. Their jobs seem dangerous. However, in reality, transportation and agriculture jobs pose even greater risks to workers.

The Illinois Census of Fatal Occupation Injuries and Illnesses conducted a study on occupational fatalities. They established a ranking based on the number of fatalities in different fields. Transportation and material moving are at the top of the list, followed by management, construction and sales-related occupations and protective services.

In Illinois, there were 158 deaths in 2009, and the number rose to 203 occupational-related fatalities in 2010. Men accounted for about 92 percent of the work-related deaths, although they make up slightly more than half of the total workforce.

Fatalities result for different reasons depending on the industry. Assaults and violent acts were the leading cause of death in accommodation services, food and retail trade. Falls were the primary cause of fatalities in construction jobs. In manufacturing, agriculture and warehousing the leading cause of death was transportation accidents.

In 2010, the material moving and transportation industries experienced the most occupational deaths in Illinois with 58 fatalities. The farming and agriculture industry reported 36 deaths in 2010. Extraction and construction occupations ranked third with nearly 10 deaths.

Work-related fatalities can be difficult for the immediate family of the victim to deal with. However, the family may be entitled to financial compensation. Families who lose a loved one in a workplace accident would be wise to ask for assistance from legal experts who will work to protect their rights at all costs.

Source: RedEye Chicago, “The most dangerous jobs in Chicago-and the state,” Melanie Zanona, Oct. 16, 2012